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Shooting with polarizer and still no blue sky...?
Ok when shooting landscapes and when shooting off into the horizon I get no blue skies even with the use of a polarizer. Why is that? When I shoot closer to the camera off of the horizon I get perfectly blue skies. Can someone explain why this is? Thanks in advance...

Comments (15)

Huh? I don't understand the situations you are describing. Can you post examples? Also, keep in mind that polarizers do their thing in areas of the sky 90 degrees from the sun..

Shutterman wrote:.

Ok when shooting landscapes and when shooting off into the horizon Iget no blue skies even with the use of a polarizer. Why is that? WhenI shoot closer to the camera off of the horizon I get perfectly blueskies. Can someone explain why this is? Thanks in advance..

'I reject your reality and substitute my own' -Adam Savage..

Comment #1

You didn't describe if it was the same shot or different shots, so this may not be what you wanted to know, but this may help:.

When using a polarsing filter, the angle between your lens and the sun influences how 'blue' the sky can get. Ideally the sun would be at a 90 degree angle to your lens to get the highest possible polarisation. But this may not be the best light for landscapes....

Also, it will NOT give you a saturated blue sky on overcast days..

If the sun is right behind you or right in front of you, there will be almost no visible difference to the sky..

If this doesn't answer your question, please give more detail?..

Comment #2

Ok when shooting landscapes and when shooting off into the horizon Iget no blue skies even with the use of a polarizer. Why is that? WhenI shoot closer to the camera off of the horizon I get perfectly blueskies. Can someone explain why this is? Thanks in advance..

It's not quite clear what you mean by 'shooting off into the horizon' and 'shoot closer to the camera off of the horizon' - can you explain?.

Possible issues are.

1. The sky isn't clear and blue to start with (!).

2. The angle of the polariser isn't correct - are you twisting the front part of the polariser to get the maximum effect.

3. You may be over exposing the sky which will make it too light - this could happen if you are taking a meter reading off a dark part of the image.

4. You need to use a circular polariser with a DSLR - a linear polariser may not focus or expose properly..

Best wishesMike..

Comment #3

Sky is brighter then ground. You should get bluse sky during sunny days when sun is behind you and ground is iluminated by sun. CPL will help of course..

Sky is bright way more then ground. You need to be sure it's not overexposed by your exposure settings..

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Http://www.stan-pustylnik.smugmug.com..

Comment #4

Ok, sorry for the confusion guys. Basically, what I mean by shooting off into the horizon is that if I was to go outside right now, using my telephoto lens and shoot a scene of the mtn.s with the circular polarizing filter on as far out as the lens could put me, the horizon if you will, then I do not get blue skies. I am shooting at exactly 90 degrees from the sun and still no blue skies when shooting far off. However, if you were to pull the lens back so to speak focusing on something closer to you and the camera then the skies appear blue. Does that make sense?..

Comment #5

Shutterman wrote:.

Ok, sorry for the confusion guys. Basically, what I mean by shootingoff into the horizon is that if I was to go outside right now, usingmy telephoto lens and shoot a scene of the mtn.s with the circularpolarizing filter on as far out as the lens could put me, the horizonif you will, then I do not get blue skies. I am shooting at exactly90 degrees from the sun and still no blue skies when shooting faroff. However, if you were to pull the lens back so to speak focusingon something closer to you and the camera then the skies appear blue.Does that make sense?.

Yes, at least I think that is the situation you are describing....if the sky dominates the image, it is blue, if the landscape dominates the image the sky is washed out?.

My guess would be in the tele shot, you are over exposing the sky, as most likely the landscape fills most of the scene and the metering system is keying on that. When you zoom out to the wide angle, more of the sky fills the scene and metering systems keys on the sky, exposing it properly at the expense of the landscape. The best way to get a bluer sky in the first situation would be to spot meter on the sky....however you landscape portion may be underexposed. you could correct that in post processing. Another alternative would be a graduated neutral density filter to tone down the sky and get it's exposure within the range of your sensor..

JohnPentax *ist-D, K100D, Fuji F20/31fd, Oly Stylushttp://www.pbase.com/jglover..

Comment #6

Sounds to me like he's shooting with a telephoto lens that rotates as it goes from wide to telephoto? My 17-55 f2.8 does not rotate as it goes from 17 to 55, so the polarizing effect would not change, but on a lens where the barrel rotates the effect will change, correct? Maybe they need to rotate the polarizer once you get to the focal length you desire to see the skies change?Just a guess...Give me something to shoot..

Comment #7

I know this is a stupid remark, but here goes, the last thing to do after setting up the shot, is to rotate the CP filter, to polarizer the sky, and then take the shot.works for meMike Rudge..

Comment #8

A polarizer does not "add blue" or "filter out non-blue" light. It filters out any photon (of any hue) that is not aligned with it's grate. So don't expect the polarizer to be changing the color of what you shoot..

The sky is not uniformly blue. Look up, look to the horizon, look at various angles between. They're different. It is a gradient, heading from a chalky gray/white at the horizon to a strong blue up above. There are various shades of pastel teal and powder blue in between..

When you shoot with a polarizer in SOME lighting conditions, much of the atmosphere is reflecting the sunlight back at you, just as a leaf or a window pane reflects light back at you. If that reflection is fairly orderly, the polarizer can be adjusted to filter out most of the orderly reflected light while letting through half of the rest of the light. The upper sky's blue will likely deepen because the reflections are likely more orderly, but the hazy (or dusty or smoggy) horizon air is a mess, where reflections get chopped up and roiled from ground heat or particulates. This makes for a most disorderly reflected light..

This difference, between "most of the reflected light" and "half of the rest" of the light, is what makes polarizers useful. Get rid of the reflections from leaves, from windows, or from SOME hazy reflecty atmospheric conditions..

[ e d @ h a l l e yc c ] http://www.halley.cc/pix/..

Comment #9

Because the sky is normally so bright compared to the subject, it is very easy to have blown highlights. By definitions, blown highlights means that area becomes pure white. You might some negsative exposure comensation, or a graduated ND filterWarm regards,DOF..

Comment #10

Also, keep in mind that polarizers do their thing inareas of the sky 90 degrees from the sun..

Now this doesn't make much sense either, perhaps you should re-word this as well.  .

Tim'Be the change you wish to see in the world.' -Mahatma Gandhihttp://www.flickr.com/photos/timskis6/..

Comment #11

Timskis6 wrote:.

Also, keep in mind that polarizers do their thing inareas of the sky 90 degrees from the sun..

Now this doesn't make much sense either, perhaps you should re-wordthis as well.  .

It may not make sense, but it's true. Perhaps some expansion and description of coordinates is required..

The "90 degrees from the sun" part is referenced to the center of the earth, for those who believe the earth is round. So if the sun is due south and 45 degrees above the horizon (local noon at some places some times) then the sky, if the sky be blue, is most highly polarized in a band starting due west, arcing to 45 degrees above the horizon at due north and ending due east..

Looking at this, the re-wording only adds to the confusion. Sorry..

Leonard Migliore..

Comment #12

Hi,.

It's obvious from the previous comments that a polariser will not compensate for a blown sky..

What is the best solution to such a situation in camera without resorting to a lot of PP? Would taking multiple spot readings help and then calculating an average? Would the bias be towards the sky or the foreground?.

Peter..

Comment #13

Bias the meter reading towards the sky. Since the sky will be brighter than the ground (in conditions when a polariser ie being used, i.e. clear skies!) if the meter reading is taken off the ground then the sky will be overexposed and white. If the meter reading is taken from the sky then the exposure will be much shorter but the ground will be underexposed and dark. Clearly there is a happy medium, and it is a good idea to take meter reading from the sky and the ground separately and then average them - thatwould ive a reasonable starting point. Which compromise you choose would depend on how you want the picture to look..

A polariser helps here: the way in which it works (described by a previous poster) will remove more light from the sky than the ground, reducing the big difference between the two and making a correct exposure easier to get. That's what I've found anyway..

Best wishesMike..

Comment #14

Peter wrote:.

What is the best solution to such a situation in camera withoutresorting to a lot of PP? Would taking multiple spot readings helpand then calculating an average? Would the bias be towards the sky orthe foreground?.

It depends what the subject is. More often than not the foreground is the subject and that needs to be correctly exposed - so don't calculate an average, meter for the foreground and if the sky has to blow out, well, it has to blow out. In that situation I sometimes take a second shot exposed for the sky, so that at least I do have the option of merging the two shots if the result justifies the extra work. It costs nothing so it's worth having in the bag even if you never use it..

In other situations the sky itself is a key part of the subject and in that case you are less likely to get a successful image in one frame - unless of course you go the traditional route and use a neutral grad..

Sometimes, if the subjects are close enough, fill-in flash can help because it allows you to use a shorter exposure to darken the sky. But do beware of the horrible cardboard cutout look which you will get if the subjects are brighter than the background and evenly lit..

Lastly, sometimes the best answer is to come back another day or at another time. Blue skies are easier than grey, and foreground lighting will vary greatly with the position of the sun. Often, it is this which makes the difference between a snapshot and a really good image...

Comment #15

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This question was taken from a support group/message board and re-posted here so others can learn from it.

 

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